Category Archives: San Francisco

Bookworm Beat 5/14/20: Pent up posting about the current scene

I am exploding with pent-up posts going back two weeks, so I thought a Bookworm Beat might be the best way to do a mental download onto the blog.

A good Obamagate overview. During their Russagate heyday, the leftist media had it easy because they could roll with a single message: “Russia! Russia! Russia!” And failing that, “Climate! Climate! Climate!”

Obamagate is harder because it is, in fact, an actual conspiracy. The nature of conspiracies is that they hide away in the dark, and involve serpentine steps to achieve nefarious goals. When brought to light, the malfeasors scurry away like cockroaches surprised by light. Then, investigators laboriously gather up the Raid and your roach motels to unravel the conspiracy and bring the conspirators before the law.

What I just wrote is a helpful analogy, but the actual facts of Obamagate are a bit harder to explain. That’s why I appreciated John Daniel Davidson’s masterful overview of Obamagate. He carefully avoids getting caught in the weeds of endless dates, actors, and lies, and focuses instead on the broad-brush outlines to reveal “the biggest political scandal of our time.” I actually disagree with that statement. I think that, as far as American politics go, it’s the biggest political scandal ever.

Anyway, if you’re struggling to get a handle on the two different narratives (FISA and Flynn) and the way they dovetail into a single concerted attack on the Trump campaign and then the Trump presidency, Davidson’s article is an excellent way to start.

Matt Taibbi continues his lonely journey as an honest progressive journalist. One of the things I didn’t get to blog about while my site was down was an article two law professors – one from Harvard and one from the University Arizona — wrote for The Atlantic about censorship. If you’re expecting to hear that they wrote a rousing defense of free speech, you’d be wrong. Instead, the professors advocated for abandoning constitutional free speech in favor of Chinese-style censorship, complete with tech giants giving the government the help it needs.

Taibbi does not agree, either with the professors or with other so-called “liberals” advocating for wiping out both the First and Fourth Amendments. While Taibbi doesn’t go back as far as Tom Friedman and his love affair with Chinese-style control, he does round up a few recent examples of how the Wuhan virus has been an opening for “liberals” to let out their inner fascist.

(By the way, I never use the word “liberal” to describe Democrats, progressives, or leftists. It is an obscene misnomer, and I won’t countenance it.)

Taibbi using that leftist drive for censorship as an opening to discuss covers the leftist love for “expertise,” its relentlessly scolding tone (think: Karen), and the severe limitations that hamper even good journalists. It’s a tour de force and deserves a read. Indeed, anyone, especially a progressive, who writes this deserves to be acknowledged, and that’s true even if Taibbi’s leftism still blinds him so that he meekly accepts as accurate the canard that Trump told people to inject over-the-counter disinfectants:

We have a lot of dumb people in this country. But the difference between the stupidities cherished by the Idiocracy set ingesting fish cleaner, and the ones pushed in places like the Atlantic, is that the jackasses among the “expert” class compound their wrongness by being so sure of themselves that they force others to go along. In other words, to combat “ignorance,” the scolders create a new and more virulent species of it: exclusive ignorance, forced ignorance, ignorance with staying power.

The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant. It’s astonishing that they don’t see this.

Bastiat and the problem with the leftists’ apocalyptic world view. Years ago, I read, and fell in love with, Frédéric Bastiat’s famous economic essay, “What is seen and what is unseen.” In it, he examines the fallacy of those who say that even a broken window is a good thing, for it brings work to the glazier. Bastiat, however, points out that fixing something broken is a dead end. The window’s owner might have spent the same money on something more useful and necessary for him. This lost buying power is the “unseen” part for those who can see only a broken window and a glazier. Or, as Bastiat wrote, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

Leftists have this limited “unseen” thinking about gun violence (they see only those 30,000 who die, not the hundreds of thousands or even millions whose lives guns save). They also have it with abortion, where the focus is on women (who can be seen), rather than on the millions of babies who never got the chance to grow up to be women (or men).

For an example of a “seen” woman’s suffering, think of Michelle Obama, who was very explicit about what a terrible choice it was for her to have children:

“My relationship with Barack was all about our equal partnership,” Obama recalled. “If I was going to have a unique voice with this very opinionated man, I had to get myself up and set myself off to a place where I was going to be his equal.”

[snip]

“The thing that really changed it was the birth of our children. I wasn’t really ready for that. That really made it harder,” the first lady explained. “Something had to give and it was my aspirations and dreams.”

“I made that concession not because he said ‘you have to quit your job,’ but it felt like ‘I can’t do all of this so I have to tone down my aspirations, I have to dial it back,’” she added.

I didn’t particularly want children, but I knew it was a necessary thing to do to further my development as a mature human being. I realized that I’d miss the selfish life (and I did miss it), but that life also frightened me because I saw that it was preventing me from fully growing up. Now that my children are themselves grown, the pay-off for having had them is huge because they are delights to have around. For me, despite the lost sleep, boredom, and frustration, it was a win-win.

But back to Bastiat, progressives, and the Wuhan virus. Actually, I won’t spell out the argument in this post because you can read it here.

San Franciscans are paying the price for subsidizing vice. For a very long time, San Francisco has been subsidizing vice. First, it decriminalized crime. Drug taking, public drunkenness, public excretory functions, stealing (as long as the thief took goods worth less than $950) . . . they’re all allowed in San Francisco. For people who like engaging in those crimes, especially stealing, San Francisco is the place to be.

San Francisco has also been subsidizing substance abuse for quite a long time. Under the banner of decency, it’s made clean needles available to IV drug users and provided them with food, shelter, and other benefits. San Francisco’s progressives say that this is right and proper because drug users are victims too.

It’s true that many homeless people are mentally ill. Of course, it’s a chicken and egg question whether they had pre-existing issues and self-medicated, making themselves worse, or whether the substance abuse itself created the mental health issues. It’s also true that tossing junkies and mentally ill people in jail is not a solution.

These are real problems and require thoughtful approaches. However, you’d also think that someone in San Francisco might have realized that it’s a bad idea to create what is effectively a Utopian environment for disruptive, dangerous, dirty, disease-ridden druggies and other people with anti-social behavior.

Tax-paying, working San Francisco residents have been complaining about the homeless problem for a while now. Still, it’s hard to take their complaints seriously when they elect Chesa Boudin as the town’s DA, the man who promised to decriminalize everything. They also elected London Breed, another hard leftist, to be their mayor.

This is what happens when genuine lifestyle issues (such as being able to walk the streets safely or run a business) crash into virtue signaling. Virtue signaling always wins.

Anyway, the Wuhan virus (or, if you like, the New York virus) has put the whole San Francisco problem on steroids. Daniel Greenfield has a hard-hitting look at what’s happening on the streets of San Francisco:

“People are coming from all over the place, Sacramento, Lake County, Bakersfield,” Jeanine Nicholson, the first lesbian head of the San Francisco Fire Department, grumbled. “People are getting released from jail in other counties and being told to go to San Francisco, where you will get a tent and then you will get housing.”

The people coming to the City by the Bay weren’t wearing flowers in their hair, they were homeless junkies who had heard that they were going to get free hotel rooms, along with pot and booze.

And it was all true. Every word of it.

San Francisco was spending $200 a night to house the homeless, or as the current politically correct euphemism insisted that they be called, the ‘unhoused’, in hotel rooms at a cost of over $100 million.

You have to read his article to believe it and, even after reading it, you might not believe it.

San Francisco always had a wacky edge, but it was an aesthetically beautiful and still functional city. Those days are over. Large parts of San Francisco are sewers with homeless people camped on the streets and affluent citizens hiding in their homes. My old neighborhood, once a working- and middle-class bastion, is the brothel center of San Francisco. The City that Herb Caen always boasted “knew how” is dying.

Go to college; get therapy. Three years ago, I wrote a post about Macalester College, a small and expensive liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota, and its proud boast about having multiple therapy dogs. I was revolted.

If you look at the photo for that post, which is simply the cover of Macalester’s magazine for parents, you’ll see that it shows girls crowding around the therapy dog. That was a familiar sight for me. When I was on a small liberal arts college campus several years ago, one that had a therapy dog, I noticed incoming freshman crowding around the dog, not in a “What a cute dog” way, but in an “I desperately need help way.” I also noticed how highly feminized the boys were, whether they were gay or straight.

Heather MacDonald, who’s a smarter, more knowledgeable, and a better writer than I am, has just written a lengthy article about the therapeutic culture at Yale and other American colleges, something that fuses feminism with mental illness. She describes how students are never told to buck up and embrace their experience. Instead, they are encouraged to revert to toddler-esque panic and equally immature means of relieving that panic. This instruction in helplessness is paired with the bizarre feminization of the therapeutic college culture:

For the last 40 years, men have been an underrepresented minority in higher education, reports American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry. Since 1982, females earned nearly 14 million more college degrees than men. Colleges began a “desperate” search for women faculty in the 1970s that eroded the “intellectual rigor of elite higher education in the U.S.,” says Camille Paglia, the feminist professor and author. “Due to that sudden influx, academe’s entire internal culture changed,” she says. As the female presence has grown, so have claims of a crisis of collegiate mental health.

Nationally, about two-thirds of the students who sought treatment for mental-health disorders in the 2018–19 academic year were female, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. At Yale, therapy use is heavily female and LGBTQ, according to students. “There are few straight men using therapy,” one self-identified “queer” girl in the GLC said. “It’s stigmatized for straight CIS men. Almost all my friends who go to therapy identify as gay or trans.”

I sent my college-attending children links to MacDonald’s article. I think they’ll recognize their classmates, especially their unstable, highly neurotic, angry, and dangerous female classmates, in the article.

You have to read this. Dov Fischer, a lawyer and rabbi, has written an extraordinary article entitled A Time to Hate. He explains how he, like other conservatives during the Obama years, hated Obama’s policies and corruption, while still accepting that Obama was the duly elected president. That is, conservatives understood that Republicans ran lousy candidates and paid the price. It was up to conservatives to step up their game at election time if they wanted something different than the Obama presidency.

Now, however, after three years of unmitigated hysteria, corruption, lies, coups, and other attacks on the core of the Trump presidency (that is, three years of attacks on our constitutional notion of the executive office) Fischer has changed his mind. He has learned to hate.

As I said, the article is extraordinary, and I highly encourage your looking it over.

That’s enough for one day. By the way, as you can see, I’ve changed my “woman writing” picture for a new one that better suits my blog’s format. When you see that image at the head of a post, you’ll know that the post is one that jumbles together a whole lot of things that interest me.

A transnational elite racing its way to a revolution

In America and around the world, a transnational elite postures for itself and despises the people it rules. This is a recipe for a bloody revolution.

The other day, I was listening to Heather MacDonald speaking about homelessness during an appearance on City Journal’s Ten Blocks podcast. She was describing a visit to San Francisco, and it all sounded so familiar.

Before I get to Heather’s riff on the homeless, I want to do a little riff of my own about the homeless and others in America’s underclass. As long-time readers know, I actually have a conduit to the homeless and the underclass. A very dear childhood friend of mine has made life choices that see her living amongst them. When I visit her, I meet her friends, all of whom have, or have had, some extreme form of drug addiction. They also count among their number the homeless, although I haven’t met those guys personally; I’ve just heard about them.

When Obamacare was an issue back in 2009/2010, I learned something very interesting from my friend. Because she came from a middle class background, she was delighted to know that she could finally have subsidized middle class insurance. Her friends, however, were less delighted. Why? Because contrary to the assumptions in Washington, D.C., these people don’t have middle class values that include constant health maintenance and monitoring and they don’t care about having a personal relationship with a physician and a hospital.

What this meant in 2010 is that, without exception, this cohort of chronic drug users and homeless people were unimpressed by the opportunity to get fully insured for $50 or so per month — that is, to get the type of insurance middle class people were paying hundreds for monthly or that steered middle class people  to jobs with benefits and kept them at those jobs even if they were unhappy. To my friend’s friends, this would be $50 wasted every month. After all, why pay even that much when you can go to the emergency room for free?

This insight was yet another reminder that top-down policies do not reflect people’s needs. Moreover, the Left’s top-down policies exist only to serve a very narrow echelon of the Blue upper class. What the governing class is doing is virtue signaling. It makes assumptions about ordinary Americans (85% of whom liked their insurance before Obamacare destroyed everything), but doesn’t want to go near these same Americans to learn what they value.

Another one of those virtue signaling policies without regard for the concerns of most Americans can be seen in the Dem presidential candidates’ insistence that all Americans should be on the line for the student loans that kids take out to get useless degrees. And when I say “useless,” I’m not exaggerating. It’s not unheard of for people to amass hundreds of thousands in debt for a gender studies or fine arts major. There are no jobs out there in those fields that will provide enough funds for anyone to pay back one of those loans before death.

Ordinary people work hard and try to stay out of debt. When they incur a debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the bank usually gets a security interest to protect itself. But not student loans. They just hang out there with us, the taxpayers, on the line. We’re on the line because student debt is expensive for America as a whole (more debt, less wealth) and we’re on the line because Leftists keep threatening to make us pay for the kid who opted, not to go into dad’s plumbing business, but to learn advanced puppetry on our dimes.

Which gets me to Heather MacDonald and homelessness. Once again, our governing class makes assumptions. Sitting in ivory academic towers and political offices, our governing class assumes that people don’t want to be homeless. That’s certainly true for working and middle class people who are down on their luck, but these aren’t the people filling the streets in Blue cities, especially West Coast Blue cities with temperate climates.

What MacDonald pointed out in the podcast is that these people want one thing and one thing only: drugs. Blue city policies enable that. In the name of “humanity,” they give the homeless free food, they don’t arrest drug dealers, they do nothing to stop homeless drug use, and they no longer do even minimal policing against disturbing the peace, public nudity, or soiling city streets. All of this is ostensibly to decrease homelessness but the reality is that these policies make homelessness more appealing to those who want only food and drugs. In other words, these are virtue signaling policies.

These same policies are a disaster for the Normals living in the City: the people who go to work, buy homes, have children — and see their streets made filthy and dangerous by people high on every type of drug and, of course, now carrying medieval diseases on their person. And sure, there’s a mental illness component, but a lot of the mental illnesses involved are not the type that would ordinarily render people dysfunctional. There aren’t many schizophrenics out there. Instead, there are people who self-medicated ordinary depression or other dysfunctions and the medication got away from them.

The elite government policies aren’t for the homeless or for the taxpayers. They are financially beneficial for those in government (on the taxpayer dime) and those attached like parasites to government (sucking up the taxpayer dime). And as I said before, they’re emotionally beneficially for people who believe in virtue-signaling more than problem solving. The governing class, like warped fireflies, is sending out smug signals to others in the governing class: “We spent $12 million on the homeless and gave them free needles! We’re so very, very good.” And then they profess themselves bewildered as the homeless multiply on the streets like wire hangers in a closet.

The same disconnect between the governing class and our country’s needs shows itself with the military that Obama bequeathed to Trump. I covered most of that in this post: Under Obama, there came to be a cancer in the Pentagon. My point in that post is that Obama deliberately created an officer class more concerned with social justice and virtue signaling about things such as climate change than concerned with winning wars. It was this officer class (with some Clinton-era holdovers) that has professed itself shocked! Shocked that Trump would pull our troops out of theaters of war in which they shed their blood without benefit to America or that Trump would jettison social justice in favor of killing our enemies. (It’s a good post. If you haven’t read it, you might give it a look.)

During my podcast yesterday, I discussed that post — and I added a couple more points about the Obama military’s disconnect from ordinary Americans. Those points are relevant here, because they remind us that our governing class does not like us and does not share our goals or concerns. Even as Obama was firing officers who might well have been committed to more traditional military values, he was definitely encouraging officers to embrace his social justice, Leftist agenda.

That’s why, during the Obama years, this happened: In 2011, Obama did away with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in favor of open gay service. Frankly, I have no idea how this has turned out for military readiness. I just know that, in 2018, a proud, official Navy press release and a laudatory article in the Navy Times introduced us to Yeoman 3rd class Joshua Kelley, aka Harpy Daniels, a drag queen performing on Navy ships. I don’t mean to harsh on Kelley. He sounds like a perfectly nice young man whose father was in the Navy, so Kelley thought of the Navy as a good option when he was having a hard time making a living as a professional drag queen.

The press release and article tout Kelley’s “knack for life as a sailor,” something that sounds good. Except when you read down in the articles about Kelley’s life as a sailor, it sounds as if he’s sailing on the USS Social Justice, rather than a war ship. Thus, we’re told that Kelley was voted to be the president of Strike Fighter Squadron 115′s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions and that he became the public affairs officer for the carrier Reagan’s Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors association. He even got a “blue jacket of the year” award, not for being the person who keeps Navy pilot’s planes safe or ships running well . . . but for his work on the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions.

I don’t mean to slam Kelley. I’m just saying I find Kelley to be a surprising choice for the Navy to boast about. The Navy’s purpose, after all, the reason we taxpayers pay the big bucks for it, is to defend us in war against enemies, not to make drag queens feel good about themselves.

Obama also opened the military to transgender people (before Trump shut that down). Transgender people have a 40% or higher suicide rate, higher than any other population group. It’s trendy to point at discrimination as the culprit for these tragic numbers, but the fact is that other groups that have also been on receiving end of terrible discrimination (e.g., blacks) never had suicide rates anywhere comparable to that.

Moreover, transgender individuals, like other people in the cohort that Dave Chappell calls “alphabet people” have higher incidences of alcohol and drug dependency, risky sexual behaviors, suicide, depression, self-harm and spousal abuse. All of these are terrible things. I don’t wish them on anybody . . . but I also don’t wish them on our military!

Obama also opened combat to women., something that’s been a disaster in all standing militaries but for those, like the Kurds, that live on the front line. Even Israel, a front line country, backed away from women in combat when it was able to do so. Women’s presence was (a) dead weight because women are less physically able than men and (b) disastrous for unit moral, because of rivalries and the men’s inability to cope with the women being hurt or killed in battle.

And then there are those green, green climate change initiatives. In 2014, I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the commissioning ceremony for the USS America. It was a wonderful experience. But as I wrote at the time,

[S]ince this is a 21st century, here’s your assurance that the ship is as green as green can be. (I didn’t hear anyone assure me that a green ship is a safer ship or a better fighting ship, but I might have missed that part.)

USS America - Energy Warrior

I’m all for green ships if they save taxpayer money without impairing the military’s efficacy — or, even better, if they increase the military’s ability to fight wars. But that really wasn’t the issue there, was it?

Put simply, during his eight years in office, Obama revamped the American military so that it was dedicated to (a) social justice and (b) climate change. Interestingly, in 2017, not long after Obama left the White House – and before Trump could put his imprimatur on military — the Navy had a spate of terrible accidents:

A US Navy plane crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, marking at least the sixth apparent accident involving a Navy asset in East Asian waters this year.

The C2-A Greyhound transport plane was carrying 11 crew and passengers to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea, the Navy said. As of Wednesday evening, eight people had been rescued, and three were missing.

Wednesday’s crash comes three weeks after a Navy and civilian panel recommended sweeping changes in a comprehensive review of the Japan-based US 7th Fleet, which covers East Asian waters.

The review found that two deadly accidents — the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain with commercial ships in June and August, respectively — were avoidable.

The review’s recommendations include new processes for scheduling ships; “ready for sea” assessments for all Japan-based ships; disseminating lessons learned form “near misses”; and ensuring that ships routinely transmit on their automatic identification systems to prevent collisions.

Of the six incidents, Wednesday’s is the only one directly involving a Navy aircraft. The others are collisions involving US warships.”

Maybe just bad luck – or maybe the military had changed its mission under Obama. After all, the fish rots from the head.

If you’re wondering why all these disparate anecdotes belong in a single post, here’s my answer: They remind us that America’s ruling elite has no concern about ordinary Americans. Hillary was speaking for an entire governing class when she said people who won’t hope on the Leftist train are a “basket of deplorables. *** They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it.”

We’re racist because we want to be color-blind, rather than engaging in endless victim wars and because we believe that a nation without borders is no nation at all. We’re sexist because we believe that women and men are different. We’re homophobic because we’re troubled by the pressure LGBTQ activists are placing on American institutions. We xenophobic because Hillary and her followers are proud of knowing a big word with Greek roots. We’re Islamophobic because we’ve noticed that 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims actively want to kill or enslave us and are supported by a much larger number than 10% — including, perhaps, the House’s own Ilhan Omar.

The anecdotes I told are concrete manifestations of this hatred. While ordinary people look to the military to protect us from foreign enemies, our self-styled elite class, which controls most of the levers of power in America, sees traditional military readiness as a tattered, irrelevant doctrine. For them, the military is a giant social justice experiment that pays homage to all the other Leftist shibboleths: only engaging in wars that are not for America’s benefit (because America bad), fighting climate change, and making marginalized people feel good about themselves. Once upon a time, marginalized people (i.e., the poor and/or minorities) felt good about themselves because they became highly competent parts of something much greater than each individual, creating indissoluble bonds and a sense of pride. Now they get awarded “blue jacket” because they advance alphabet people causes.

Likewise, homelessness is a problem, not to be wiped out, but to be magnified so as to showcase the enormous financial and spiritual generosity the elite class doles out to the homeless: using our money and making our cities dangerous at so many levels.

After thinking about homeless projects that magnify homelessness; military initiatives for victim classes, rather than America’s defense; high tax demands that will destroy a thriving economy; the insistence that grown men have access to little girl’s bathrooms; the fight to open our borders so that poor and working class people can lose jobs and housing to illegal immigrants; and all the other initiatives coming from the Leftist leadership in politics, in education, in entertainment, and in the news media, I have to ask: Just who do these people represent?

They certainly don’t represent the interests of the average American or the majority of Americans. We’ve come to the point at which we no longer have “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Instead, we have a government class that despises the people.

Moreover, this is true all over the world, not just America. A friend sent me an email pointing out that there are revolutions in Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Lebanon, England, Baghdad, France, Holland, and Iran. Some are bloody, or likely to be bloody, revolutions (Chile, Hong Kong, Iran); some are voter revolutions (the 2016 election here, Brexit in England); and some are tractor revolutions in Holland or yellow jacket revolutions in France.

In all cases, though, they represent the same thing: People fighting back against political and cultural leaders who have become an international class bound by ties, not to their own countries, but to other world leaders. The transnational elites posture for their fellow transnationals and enacts policies that enrich only themselves. The one thing they’re not doing is taking care of the people in their charge.

Back in 1992, when I was a Democrat, I remember that one of cheers that Bill Clinton liked to use at his rallies to get the audience revved up was, “It’s time for them to go” — with “them” referring to the Republicans who had held the White House for 16 years, to America’s tremendous social and economic benefit.

I don’t look back fondly on the Clinton years, and regret my votes at the time, but I like that theme. Across the world, as weary, beaten-down people look at a ruling class that sees them as despicable, dirty deplorables, these ordinary people, these normals, need to rise up and say, “It’s time for them to go.”

And here’s a word of warning to the ruling class: You managed to keep a lid on things for seven decades after WWII. The people’s discontent, though, is boiling. Bad things happen when the pressure from that boiling finally blows off that tightly pressed lid. I suggest that the Western world’s ruling class, as well as the ruling class in China and the Middle East, gracefully backs away from the levers of power before its members get their greedy, smug little hands blown off of those same levers.

Be assured that I’m not advocating a bullet-style revolution. I prefer my revolutions at the ballot box. But when a people become too discontent, the ballot box is suddenly no longer an option.

The post A transnational elite racing its way to a revolution appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Taking back the rainbow for popular culture

San Francisco’s ubiquitous rainbow flags, symbols of alternative sexualities, made me want to rescue the rainbow from its ghetto and return it to the world.

And I will establish my covenant with you [Noah], neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 11-15.)

Rainbow
Noah and the rainbow covenant from the Trevelyon Miscellany 1608

In the late 1960s or early 1970s, the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, bowing to the hippie ethos, put together a rainbow exhibition. Although I was young back then (somewhere between eight or ten at a guess) and was no stranger to museum exhibitions, for I came from an art-oriented home, this exhibition was the first I remember passionately loving. (The other two exhibitions that thrilled me in my youth were dedicated to Norman Rockwell and the Dresden art collection.)

I was reminded of that exhibition today, for a I made a rare trip to San Francisco and saw rainbow iconography wherever I looked. These rainbows didn’t give me the warm-fuzzies, though. Instead, they irked me, for they were a reminder that, in today’s world of obsessive identity politics, one group has laid claim to this universal symbol, effectively denying it to the rest of us.

A rainbow is an awe-inspiring thing, both physically and aesthetically. At the physical level, it is the wonder of light broken into its component parts, revealing to us all the colors of the universe. Some colors stand on their own and are immediately visible to us when we see the rainbow; others come about when Nature or humans skillfully blend the universe’s colors into shades that aren’t immediately obvious in the rainbow itself.

Since humans first mastered color, they’ve sought to capture the rainbow in art, whether painted or plastic (i.e., textiles, ceramics, etc.). I stumbled across a marvelous public domain review that’s collected images of rainbows in art. The early 17th century engraving of Noah, above, is one such image. Here are a few others:

Das Zeichen des Bundes, from the Genesis section of the Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, ca. 1552

Fishing for Souls, 1614, Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne

Page 34 from Thesaurus thesaurorum et secretumn, artist unknown, ca. 1725.

The Battle of Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen, ca. 19th century, unknown artist though is initialed with SM

Rainy Season in the Tropics,, 1866, by Frederic Edwin Church

Cossacks, 1910-11 by Wassily Kandinsky.

Nor is rainbow iconography limited to classical art. Peter Max, the iconic 1960s pop culture artist, reveled in the colors of the rainbow, something I remember because his art featured prominently in that long-ago de Young exhibition. Likewise, every yarn store I know tries to capture the rainbow as a way of enticing customers to buy yarn and, indeed, some of the most beautiful, fun yarns with which to knit allow you to create a rainbow as you go.

My point is that (a) the rainbow is Nature’s and/or God’s gift to the whole world and (b) for centuries people have sought to recreate rainbows to enjoy even when there are no naturally occurring rainbows to enjoy. The rainbow is a universal image, icon, symbol, promise, covenant, phenomenon, or whatever other uplifting virtues you’d like to ascribe to it.

In the last twenty years or so, though, and with increasing ferocity in the last decade, one small group of people has laid claim to the rainbow in a way that virtually forecloses it to all other users. As we see every June, the rainbow emerges once a year in popular and commercial culture and it does so for one reason and one reason only: To celebrate the wonders of homosexuality and the various other sexualities that follow in its wake.

It’s gotten to the point that, if you display a rainbow in 2019, you’re not rejoicing in the natural beauty of this physical phenomenon, something that has fascinated humans since time immemorial. Instead, you’re making a distinct, unmistakable statement: I’m part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum or I support that spectrum.

What’s really ironic given the death grip the alternative gender and sexuality subset of culture has on the rainbow, is that, as the number of letters in the LGBTQ spectrum has grown and the variety of acknowledge genders approaches the triple digits, the gay rights movement is finding the rainbow too limiting. That’s why I stumbled across this poster on a gay friend’s Facebook page — and he wasn’t celebrating it; he was befuddled:

If you’ve become such a particularized group of people that the enormity and entirety of the rainbow is no longer good enough for you, maybe you’ve gone too far.

This is not meant to be a post about gays or gay rights, although the almost mindless repetition of the word “pride” in association with sexuality invariably reminds me of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” While the authors of the Bible may not have been sufficiently “woke” for today’s Progressives, the Bible nevertheless collects hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years of hard-earned wisdom about human nature. A little humility, rather than a surfeit of pride, might serve the gay rights movement better, but whatever….

As I said this is not meant to be a post about gay rights. Instead, I just want to return the rainbow to the public domain. I want to hang a stained glass rainbow in the window of my home to catch the afternoon sun without people assuming I’m a lesbian. I want to wear a necklace with rainbow art beads without people assuming I’m a lesbian. I want to give my dog a rainbow colored leash without people assuming that I’m a lesbian or that he’s a same-sex attracted dog. I want rainbow iconography to belong to everyone, not to a group that defines itself by the content of its underpants and those with whom those contents want to party.

I’m tempted to include a picture of a rainbow in every post I do from here on out, along with the notation that “I’m not lesbian. I think rainbows belong to all of us.” I suspect, though, that doing so would be tantamount to a hate group and that the “tolerant Left” would do its best to hound my blog out of existence.

The post Taking back the rainbow for popular culture appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

The post California turned this Democrat into a conservative appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

The post California turned this Democrat into a conservative appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.